¼ cup hazelnuts
1 pound bow tie pasta (farfalle)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more if needed
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Hefty pinch each of salt and freshly ground black pepper
Small pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems finely chopped and greens thinly sliced
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (optional)
Add the hazelnuts to a small skillet over medium heat. Toast them slowly, shaking the pan often, until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove them from the skillet, and when they are cool enough to handle, roughly chop the nuts.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain it, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and add it to a large bowl.
In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-low heat. Once the butter begins to foam, add the garlic and use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture constantly until the butter begins to brown and have a slight nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Give the mixture a good stir, and then set it aside to infuse for about 5 minutes longer away from the heat.
Pour the butter mixture (scraping the garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes) all over the warm pasta. If the pasta feels a bit dry, add a touch of the reserved cooking liquid. Toss to combine and set aside.
Set the same skillet (without cleaning it) over medium-high heat. Add the chard stems and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chard leaves and continue to cook, tossing the mixture every so often, until the greens begin to wilt and turn bright green, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Add a touch more butter or oil to the pan if it dries out too much.
Add the Swiss chard and hazelnuts to the pasta and toss it all together. Add the Parmesan shavings and the balsamic vinegar (if you’re using it); toss. Taste for seasonings and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve warm or at room temperature.